Help Matt's Rare Cancer Fight
This is my story:
On June 12, 2014 after a lengthy process of testing, I was told I had a rare form of cancer called synovial sarcoma in my right foot. On June 27, just two days before my wedding, I was told by the surgeon that the only option for treatment was an amputation of the forefoot due to the size of the tumor and how it had spread through the tissue. Our honeymoon had to be canceled. On July 7, 2014 the amputation was done. I went through extensive healing and rehab and eventually was fitted with a prosthetic in November of 2014. Months went by before I could return to work and normal activities but I did and I live my life to the fullest. I had x-rays and follow ups every 3 months with my doctor. This was to look for metastases on my lungs.
In October, 2015 they saw spots on my lungs in my x-rays. After doing a CT scan the doctor informed me that the cancer is back and had metastasized to both lungs. The doctor told me it is stage 4 and offered aggressive chemotherapy treatments which I started November 30th, 2015. I was told that the chemo will not cure me but will give me a chance for more time. The prognosis for this kind of cancer has a median of one year with aggressive chemo treatments. But I'm not most patients..... I want to fight!!! I will fight with everything I've got and with my family by my side. Because of all that we are in need some help....
It's hard for me to ask for help...
I want to say thank you to everyone! For words, hugs, kisses, prayers, smiles, donations of time, donations of money, and love! Everything means so much to me and my family! I'm in awe every day to hear, receive, and feel the love!
I want to survive! I want to be here for all, and there are sooooo many, special times to come for my kids, family, and friends!
The funds we raise will be going towards many things like, alternative treatments, vitamins and herbs, food, bills, someone to help us keep our home extra clean, travel for family and friends, and all other things that will come up.
BUT!... Every dollar I can give will be donated to research for my cancer! Synovial Sarcoma. A Cancer that is underfunded because of it rarity. A cancer that gives a median of one year for survival once it metastasizes... I want prove that this cancer can be beat!
I need everyone's help! $1 from 10,000 people is $10,000! Donate if you can, share this on every social media platform you have, tell your friends, share with your co-workers, make posters, call the radio, and get it out there! Do what you can please. I don't ask for help very often if ever... I'm asking now!
So many people have said they would do anything to help... I just have to ask and they will do their Best!
I need your best... And not just for me...
Arrangements for his celebration of life will be posted for anyone who would like to attend.
On Saturday, May 20th I had to be brought into the emergency room due to extreme abdominal pain that my pain meds couldn't control. After some pain control and tests it was discovered that a large tumor was pressing down on my liver. Due to this, the liver was pressing on my intestines causing pain and partial obstruction of my bowels. After conversation with doctors, it was decided that my pain meds should be doubled to keep me comfortable. Over the next couple days we had company over, lots of love, hugs and good times were had, although I spent most of the time sleeping and adjusting to my new medication dosages. After our guests left Monday evening, I woke from a nap with extreme shortness of breath and chest pains. Sitting upright and maxing out my oxygen did not alleviate the issue, and then I started to cough up blood. At this point we had no choice but to call 911.
After the ambulance arrived, the medical team got things under control with IV pain meds and transported me to the hospital. It was a bit of a scramble to get my parents and kids organized before we left. Once we arrived, it was discovered that my hemoglobin had dropped below 70. Two units of blood were ordered and x-rays done. It showed both lungs had a significant increase in what we assume is blood surrounding them. After receiving the blood transfusions the doctors asked us what we wanted to do. We decided it was time to move into hospice care. We had previously discussed a hospice care plan and decided to implement it. After being discharged on May 23, we went directly to the hospice.
Upon arriving there, I was nervous, angry and scared. Many emotions flooded my body. While being moved into my room, the nurses were switching my oxygen from my portable tank to the wall and unfortunately made the mistake of attaching me to the medical air instead of the oxygen. I immediately began having severe shortness of breath and found it difficult to breathe. While the nurses went to get help and supplies, Jackie noticed the error and switched me to the oxygen. I slowly began to recover. So far, not the best experience but shit happens and we move on.
With pain still not under control and anxiety high, conversations were had between family and the doctors, the outcome: increased pain meds and the addition of anxiety medication. My long acting pain meds were tripled from the original dosages. They also added steroids, nebs and 2 more units of blood. The first night wasn’t very comfortable, getting used to a new place and new drugs. The next day Jackie and I had some hard conversations. It was decided that Jackie would take leave from work but due to the substantial pay cut some things needed to be put in order first. We also spoke with a palliative doctor who informed us that while I may have weeks left, I more reasonably only have days. This was the reason that I increased our go fund me goal. The extra money will allow Jackie to stay on leave to be there for me and the family.
So if you have donated before, Thank You
If you can donate again, Thank You
If you can’t, tell your friends and spread our story.
Due to your donations we have been able to create memories, be healthier and do as much as we could to heal me. I strongly believe, that due to all of you I have been given extra time. In 2015 I was told I had one year to live, yet here I am today, May 2017, still kicking. I love you all and thank you for your support, words, donations and love.
Til next time,
That's what our lives consist of right now. We do, on a daily basis, the things you never imagined yourself doing. The other day I made up a hospital bed in my living room for my husband. I never once imagined having to do that. And that's just the most recent cherry on the top of the list of things we do daily that we never imagined we'd have to in our lifetimes.
It's gotten hard around here lately. The Tuesday after Easter, Matt was started on home oxygen. A week later he ended up in the hospital getting a liter and a half of blood drained from around his right lung followed by two blood transfusions to replace what he lost. They think the blood was from the tumors bleeding into his pleural space (the sac around your lungs). A few days in the hospital and he was back home, still on oxygen but home. Walking through the house to the bathroom has become a challenge for him. A debate of how bad does he really need to go vs the effort it is going to take. Let me tell you, the need to pee wins everytime.
A week ago we made another trip to emerg. He figured his lung had refilled with fluid as it was hard to breathe again. Fortunately that wasn't the case, however his hemoglobin levels were low again and xrays showed that the tumors had grown. Hemaglobin is a super important thing you see, each hemoglobin cell has the capability of bonding with four oxygen molecules. They carry the oxygen through your circulatory system to the tissues that need it. Are you seeing the problem yet? Let me elaborate. Your cells need oxygen to live. Without it, cell death occurs and I shouldn't have to tell you how bad that is. When your cells don't get enough oxygen they send a signal to your brain to breathe faster and you feel short of breath. Now in Matt's case two things are causing his shortness of breath:
-Less surface area for the oxygen to be able to transfer to and bond with the hemoglobin (Thanks tumors!)
-Less hemoglobin to bond with (Thanks to the bleeding tumors).
It's a double edged sword for him. So he goes on more home oxygen and he gets more blood transfusions to correct the blood loss.
So another blood transfusion later we went home. Not because they didn't want him to stay in hospital, but because we choose not to use an acute care bed when there is nothing they could do for him. Yup, you heard that right, nothing left to do but keep him comfortable. Increase his oxygen and pain meds (because tumor growth = pain) and make things as easy as possible for him. He wheels to the bathroom in his wheelchair most of the time and we got him the previously mentioned hospital bed so he doesn't have to do the stairs to bed every night.
Lately conversations have turned to hard topics, such as where to hold his celebration of life and what funeral home to use. Things you never, ever imagined yourself discussing.
It hasn't been all somber and tears around here though. Rhys turned six this week. I'd have to say his favorite gifts were the Flash and Superman t-shirts that match daddy's and the Nerf gun arsenal from his grandparents that brought on a household war. It's probably a good thing Matt is mostly bed bound because he's a crack shot with a foam dart.
Life goes on, whether it's end of year technical theatre productions for Keeley, outdoor soccer for Avorie or a Nerf gun war with Rhys. We are all here together, being a family the best we can. And waiting...
Matt, your 4EG family loves you. We have been terribly sad about your latest news. I told the overlord tpost your gofundme page, let the kingdom read your story. A magical thong happened. All fighting stopped and SOOOO many guilds have surrounded you with love in your honor. You have been our leader, confidant. You show compassion and love. You have made a difference in so many lives. Thank you! We are all praying for you and your family. We love you! With regret, 4EG Pink.
I am very saddened to hear about Matt. Thank you Matt, Jacquelyn and family for continuing to keep us all in the know. Cancer has affected my family and it greatly saddened me that it again took another previous life. In the days and weeks to come I pray comfort and peace as you all have a heart shaped hole in your heart for the longing of Matt. Matt may you fly with the angels now my friend.
My condolences to the family. You were a good trooper and fought hard for your family. I know you will still look over them from heaven. Love to Jacquelyn and family. If possible please let us know when the celebration of life will be. thank you.
My god child, my angel, my heart is broken for your family..may god bless and may you for ever be an angle for Jacqueline and her precious children.. Love you for ever , and may you rest in peace for fighting the fight you did..You are forever a prince in my eyes!!
Through tears, I want to send my deepest condolences to the whole family. We loved Matt, and admired his strength, his courage, his humor , we all have so much to take and learn from this incredible man! We will MISS you so terribly much! RIP Matt, for you are now at peace and no more pain! Love you! ♥
Best wishes Matt. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Matt, you are so strong and brave! My heart is with you and your family.
Think of you and your family every day.
Praying for you !!
Matt you truly inspire me everyday! You are such a wonderful husband, father and friend! I am so proud to call you a friend and feel blessed you are in my life! I am praying for you often and sending my love to you through the universe, I wish we saw eachother more but just know I think of you often! Riley and I will come visit one day soon when you are feeling up to it. We Love you Matt!
You are amazing! Keep your chin up.. I know you will.
Such wonderful news! God Bless you and your family.
Matt we are so happy for you, I 've asked my whole parish to pray for you and your family nd they said they were. Wishing the rest will come true!! Good luck!!
Wishing you the best Matt! Being a Respiratory Therapist for 31 years I know how serious this is. Hoping the Radiology Oncologist can help! I will share your page.
Ps, love the updates, was commenting to holly what a fantastic writer you are - new career perhaps? Xx
Love the updates!!! Thinking of your family every day!!!
I have shared your post with my sister in the USA she has placed it on her page, praying your Christmas miracle comes through